Happy Diwalidays! This is a page of many
discussions, to maybe strike sparks with my friends so they will
discuss right back. To email me from here,
The page begins with the newest comment. Older comments are
either in the general discussions just after "The newest" immediately below, or in
the political comments at the end of the page, here.
(For older essays, go here, and for older discussions of books go to books.)
The newest, Political and General
Of course I'll vote for any of the Democrats still running for the
job. Any Democrat is worth so much more than Rump -- Rump is such
a piece of garbage compared with any decent person -- that there's no
doubt about the matter. There'll be so much to do after the
election, undoing the harm Rump has already done, that intramural
squabbles will have to wait till later. In that period of time,
it'll be enough comfort to think of Rump watching all his destructive
harm being undone. 3/6/20
An annoying book jacket blurb writer almost kept me from what is to all accounts a good book: An Unkindness of Ghosts
by Rivers Solomon. The book opens "Aster removed two scalpels
from her med-kit ...." Nothing stunning about that, either
way. But the blurb about the author: "they currently live
... with their family." In other words, the author is willing to
write a story that will not be annoying with every pronoun, but the
publisher saddled the author with a blurb writer who doesn't have
enough sense not to betray the author, and give readers the impression
of entering into an ultra-correct book by a very up-to-date
faddist. If I were in a bookstore and read that blurb, I would
slam down the book. The author didn't write "Aster removed
scalpels from their med-kit," and the blurb writer, they are an
This holiday season has worn me out. Over three-quarters of a
century putting up with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years has done
frazzled me. I hereby declare that next year all season long I
will just wish people Happy Diwalidays! "A celebration of light
over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil" -- you know,
the way America used to be. And it's ecumenical; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwali . 12/26/19
The New Tribes missionary organization (now known as
Ethnos360 -- a high-sounding but nondescriptive name, basically meaning
a bunch of people who act or think or appear alike; unflatteringly, a
gang or pack) got some national attention in February 2019, attention
which was overdue. A report of the group's history of child
sexual abuse is at NBC -- see https://www.nbcnews.com/news/religion/ungodly-abuse-lasting-torment-new-tribes-missionary-kids-n967191
-- which talks about the slowness of response by "the authorities" to
the sexual abuse. Reluctance to pick up the story is persistent;
almost ten years ago this writer covered some of the same ground in
this report from McNeal, Arizona: http://littlebigdog.net/New%20Tribes%20In%20McNeal%20Arizona%20Can%20Reform%20Itself.htm
. All this time, the survivors of child abuse have been hoping
for justice. Someday, perhaps sooner rather than later, "the
authorities" will not shrug off such matters because the perps operate
under the cloak of religion. 12/20/19
Ain't it too easy for this to be true of most of us? At the
end of Chapter 4 of The Once And Future King, a sentence published
about 80 years ago, about Sir Kay when he and Arthur were children: Kay
"was one of those people who would be neither a follower nor a leader,
but only an aspiring heart, impatient in the failing body which
imprisoned it." White was barely over thirty when he wrote that.
assume that violence in a population follows a standard normal
distribution, and let's look at people so violent that they go on a
shooting spree. In the USA, there are roughly 100 such people a year.
That's about one in 3.5 million, which makes such violence about 5
sigma above average. If the average went up by .1 sigma, then such
violence would be 4.9 sigma up; that's about one in 2 million people --
say 175 people in the USA, "only" about a 75% increase. If the average
went up 1 sigma, then such violence would be just 4 sigma up, and about
1 in 30,000 people in the USA would reach that level -- about 12,000.
This is the direction we're headed. It would be nice to have a
president who was trying to damp down violence, instead of encouraging
Horrible, horrible, horrible. I just read a
novel about our country's future, if its falling apart continues.
It's a futuristic novel from 1993, by Jack Womack: Random Acts Of
Senseless Violence. An indispensable punch in the gut to build
understanding of where Trump's road naturally leads. 8/25/19
interesting day for stories about imposing politics on knowledge.
First, the New School administration has decided not to punish a
teacher for quoting James Baldwin, in a class on James Baldwin. A
white student was offended by Baldwin's words, and complained that it
was racism to say what Baldwin said. See:
Note that the Guardian believes that outside of class, it's still racism to quote Baldwin in a discussion of his own words.
Second, apparently the best textbook on anatomy was
produced by Nazis who murdered Jews and used the corpses to make the
anatomical drawings. See:
The best surgeons use the book -- but in old copies, because no publisher will print it, because of its vicious origins.
Putting these two stories together, it seems to me
that it's better to admit our evil deeds and nature, and do the best we
can with what we are, than to try to suppress our past accomplishments
because we're ashamed of what we were. 8/19/19
The mother of exiles -- that's
what American children learned when we were the world's chief defender
of freedom, when our president did not pal around with murderous
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
Go, visit New York City, visit the Statue of Liberty, spit on it, and vote for Trump. 7/20/19
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Plagiarism of a false story: the "ten cannots," college professors, and Abraham Lincoln
Once again, a plagiarized version of a false story is circulating on
the internet: the "ten cannots" (not carrots, cannots). Let's
untangle all the threads of this lie.
Start with President Lincoln. In 1864, the New York Workingmen's
Democratic Republican Association asked Lincoln to be an honorary
member. On March 21, he wrote a letter of acceptance, including:
"the existing rebellion [is] a war upon the rights of all working
people.... The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the
family relation, should be one uniting all working people, of all
nations, and tongues, and kindreds. Nor should this lead to a war
upon property, or the owners of property. Property is the fruit
of labor - property is desirable -- is a positive good in the
world. That some should be rich, shows that others may become
rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprize.
Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let
him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example
assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."
Jump to William John Henry Boetcker. He was born in Germany in
1873, and came to America in 1891. He enrolled in a seminary, and
became a minister in 1897. In 1902, at a German Presbyterian
Church in Indiana, he opposed labor unions; the resulting fuss led to
his leaving the ministry and working for businesses to ease their
relationships with labor, and later starting his own business of
publishing and lecturing. When Hitler happened, Boetcker was
somewhat taken with him. In 1936, he was a US delegate to a
German "world congress" emphasizing how well Hitler treated workers,
and as to World War II, he was an isolationist. He remained a
public figure long after the war. He died in 1962.
In 1916, Boetcker wrote a
pamphlet called "The Ten Cannots." His "cannots" were published
in the following form in 1942:
"You cannot bring about
prosperity by discouraging thrift.
strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
"You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
"You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
establish sound security on borrowed money.
further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and
"You cannot help men permanently
by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves."
But the 1942 publication attributed Boetcker's "cannots" to
Lincoln. The publication was by a business group opposing
President Roosevelt. Attributing the "cannots" to Lincoln gave
them more weight than attributing them to isolationist Boetcker; but it
can't be proved that the false attribution was intentional.
In any case, the attribution has stuck; examples are all over the
internet. Lincoln's March 21, 1864, letter is the closest he ever
came to saying anything like the "ten cannots." So the
attribution isn't just false in letter, it's false in spirit.
And the "ten cannots" have a life of their own. Sometimes they
"ten cannots" are plagiarized without attributing them to anyone, and
are simply inserted into stories about college teachers, and so on,
teaching a class the lessons in Boetcker's "cannots." The latest
example I've seen adapts a 1984 version into an anti-Obama post.
It's a shame that the internet is so easily used to distribute
plagiarism and falsities. I'm not the first person to track down
the truth about the "ten cannots." But they just keep spreading. 6/19/19
-- It's a fine morning here in Sierra Vista. I woke up ready to
get to work in the yard again, even though my sacroiliac is popping and
my back muscles are hurting from the strain of a lot of manual labor
yesterday, lugging concrete blocks around. So I picked up a big
thick novel to help wake me up. I won't say its name, out of
respect for the work the author put into writing it. But oh, it
is deadly dull prose, lumpy, joyless, clunked together about as well as
I handled concrete blocks yesterday. Prosetariat --
lumpenprosetariat -- that's the word that came to me for the authors
who write semiliterate prose just because they can get away with
it. I Googled and found no examples of prosetariat, except as
typos for proletariat. And sloppy, ignorant, lumpy, just plain
bad writing is getting more numerous, so its authors deserve a word of their
own. Lumpenprosetariat it is. You're welcome. 5/3/19
Laying around absorbed by superstition and fighting and partying and
gossiping, I call "village living." It's an easy, comfortable way
to live, perpetual childhood. That's how our species lived for
99.9% of its existence. The species accidentally accumulated
useful facts one at a
time. A few hundred years enough knowledge had accumulated so
that scientific thinking could develop; when it did start, it got such
good results that it spread like wildfire, even into non-technological
fields. Call this "scientific living." It's been around for
roughly 1/10 of 1% of our species' existence. But scientific
living is hard. Most humans want to use the benefits of science
merely to make village living more comfortable. -- That's
the essence of a short essay I wrote in 2015. Since then we've
acquired a president who is uneducated, stupid, afraid of reality, a
liar, a lout, a bully to all who do not kneel to him. And 2 in 5
Americans kneel to him. Other countries are heading into the
swamp too. Maybe history hasn't been a march of progress, only a
fluke, and we are regressing to the mean. 4/29/19
A novel published in 1940, and pretty obscure now: If It Prove Fair Weather,
by Isabel Paterson. It's very hard for me to follow, since almost every
sentence by the protag is followed by a page or so of the protag's
internal thoughts about what was said. That's my problem, and
it's worth solving, for things like this: on p. 93 of the 1940
2nd printing, the book talks about "the attraction of public life and
external power for mediocre souls, small minds; and their morbid,
unceasing demands for the applause of the multitude, their need to be
noticed at all costs; so that an emperor is uneasy if a scullion fails
to gape at him. The fact that other people have their separate
being and may continue to exist without us, appears as a kind of
Nell Freudenberger's novel Lost And Wanted,
p. 89: "There is a certain kind of person -- usually male, but
not always -- who makes physics into a hobby, who reads all the popular
books and makes an honest effort to understand. Sometimes all
these people want to do is show you how much they know, but many of
them ... are really curious. It doesn't have to do with
education, necessarily; there are just some people who get pleasure
from considering abstract questions about forces and technology."
Until that passage, all I knew was that I was reading a good story
about intelligent people; upon finding that passage, I knew I was
The country of Nigeria has 36 states, like America's 50. For Nigeria's
election on Feb 16, the country's Electoral Commission "has increased
the number of new registered voters by almost exactly the same
percentage across all states.... by 2.2% between April 2017 and January
2018, and by 7.7% for the whole registration period .... there is a
0.99 correlation across all the states, without a single outlier.
According to three separate data analysts, the parity cannot be a coincidence" (from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/15/revealed-nigerian-voter-data-is-statistically-impossible ). The analysts are right; the figures are cooked, and the election
will be a fraud. -- A personal note from a small sample of studies in
different fields. During grad school in meteorology, I found,
based on statistics, that some weather reports from Ecuador showed an
impossible history; the teacher followed the math and we worked up a
simple paper which was published. On the other hand, during grad school in
history, I pointed out to one teacher, based on statistics, that an
incredible pro-Napoleon vote had to be crooked; the Napoleonolator
teacher got enraged at the very thought. That's how science differs
from politics. Good luck to Nigeria. In America, unlike Nigeria, we do
have an outlier: Trump. He's out lying all the time. Good luck to
by Rose Macaulay. To show you how little I know, I hadn't even heard
of her before seeing a recommendation of this book. What joy in
writing, short essays to go to sleep or even wake up to (see the essay
"Bed," 1. Getting into it and 2. Not getting out of it.) Wonderful
comic stuff. A lot more is available at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/3869 , and I'm sure to get more of her work on paper. 12/26/18
The beginning of an article about animal behavior and possible animal consciousness, or something "consciousness-like" -- at https://aeon.co/essays/inside-the-mind-of-a-bee-is-a-hive-of-sensory-activity
-- argues that "'maybe we misdiagnose animal brains as having
machine-like properties simply because we understand how machines work
– whereas, to date, we have only a fragmentary and imperfect insight
into how even the simplest brains process, store and retrieve
information. However, there are now many signs that
consciousness-like phenomena might exist not just among humans or even
great apes – but that insects might have them, too." The
hyphenated "consciousness-like" is a weasel word, aimed at giving up
any ground that contrary evidence disproves, while still maintaining
that in the territory not yet captured, there is a "magic island" where
a Holy Grail exists; it's an application of the "no true Scotsman"
fallacy. The article does have a lot of interesting behavioral
data. But the end of the article says "Despite the wonders of
unconscious processing, it’s obvious that no human being can nourish
herself, escape predation, reproduce, engage in a social life or find
the way to a new destination when she is not conscious of a world
outside her own body." The word "obvious" is another weasel word,
aimed at suppressing the lack of evidence for a "magic island."
Actually, what's obvious is that people do complicated tasks every day
without being conscious of the world; this is a large part of many
drivers' commuting trips. We drive in a trance; and the ability
to take complex action in a trance is the opposite of evidence that
consciousness is necessary for complex action. 12/7/18
I love math -- especially the work that wasn't even thought of fifty
years ago, and depends on advances in digital technology: "As Mr.
Gottesman crumpled, he scanned each sheet into his computer, and then,
with an algorithm, he measured the sum total of all the creases."
Rational thought rules, even when we can't do it with our unassisted
brains. See https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/26/science/crumple-paper-math.html . 11/27/18
Writer Pamela Frankau described America as "the
place where umbrage grew wild.... Never, surely, were so many
offended so easily by so little." 11/24/18
I recently bought a sci fi anthology, Year's Best SF 14
(from 2009), just for one story: "Exhalation," by Ted Chiang, a
stunning riff on real science; it's the kind of thing that appeals to
the old math major in me, a rarity these days. Then another story
grabbed me too, "Cheats," by Ann Halam; outstanding, about video
gamers. I'm so stuck in science fiction's past that it's rare for
me to like anything dated after 2000, so finding two such in one book
was a happy surprise. 11/23/18
November 22, 2018, marks 55 years since JFK was assassinated. In
2013, I was stunned that 50 years had passed. The sorrow doesn't
grow less with time. 11/21/18
In Louis Armstrong's book Satchmo: My Life In New Orleans
(the Sierra Vista library's paperback edition), two passages jumped
out at me. On p. 177, "no matter how tough an ofay may seem,
there is always some 'black son of a bitch' he is wild about and loves
to death just like one of his own relatives." I'll have to chew
on that as I reflect on American history. On p. 179, "If a person
is real ignorant and has no learning at all that person is always going
to be jealous, evil and hateful. There are always two sides to
every story, but an ignorant person just won't cope with either
side." I'll have to chew on that as I look at the American present. 11/21/18
Combat hurts survivors: see https://aeon.co/essays/how-do-soldiers-live-with-their-feelings-of-guilt
-- and what a burden of guilt will reveal itself in later years, to the
drone pilots who sit in the United States and kill around the
world. I'm not criticizing them; they are under orders that are
legitimate and investigated as thoroughly as possible. They are
not under orders to commit atrocities. But collateral damage is
always a risk and often occurs. What a self-torturing old age for
themselves we are making these troops build. 11/17/18
"Liberals look forward to the adventure of the future, conservatives
imagine safety in the past" is a way-too-simple version of chapters 12+
of Robert Sapolsky's 2017 book Behave.
But the thought does suggest that liberalism is more of a survival
trait. On that theme, here's a passage from Arnold Bennett's prescient
essay The Rising Storm Of Life,
way back in 1907: "the great storm of life is rising, the clouds
gathering, the winds moaning ere they scream.... It is going to
be the greatest storm that that ocean has ever witnessed. Nobody
knows, not even the wisest of us, what will be the end of it -- what
craft will founder and what will ride the gale. It may,
nevertheless, be positively said that those will stand the best chance
who put out to sea, the open sea, and rejoice openly in the tempest,
accepting it, braving it, and trusting it. And those will stand
the worst chance who obstinately pretend that there isn't a storm, or
that it will blow over quickly, and who lay up in a cove and drop
anchors.... I do not predict the issue of the storm, but I
can surmise the fate of anchored vessels." Best to adapt to the
storm, not hide from it. 5/28/18
Three things. 1, Bloomberg is campaigning in the
Confederacy. Haw haw haw haw haw. 2, I am so tired of
anti-science people taking the benefits of medicine while refusing to
acknowledge that they are doing. I happened to be sitting in an
IV center last week when an old lady kept saying "Prayer works, prayer
works, prayer works." I held back from asking her what she was
doing in a medical facility. She also was annoyed that minorities
today are rude, compared to the days of her childhood -- I'm guessing
the '40s or '50s. It's beyond me why anybody would object to a
bunch of Americans demanding the rights of Americans -- unless the
objectors don't really care about America, but only about their
creature comforts. If these ignoramuses won't accept the theories
of science, then I say let them heal themselves, without leeching off
of scientists and rational people. 3, I am so tired of "centrist"
Democrats working against Sanders or Warren (my personal preference
this year) because they will pull the party left of the
mainstream. It's those "centrists" who have for decades
compromised with Republicans, who have then moved further to the right,
only to be followed further right by "centrists." The result is,
America has ended up (or maybe just plain ended) with the stupid
unteachable boob, whom you would throw out of your house if he acted
that way there. There has never been a better time for the
"centrists" to cater to the "left wing" of the Democratic party; you
know, the people who believe in education, science, personal rights,
labor rights, and so on. Who would vote for Trump if the choice
were a rational person? Any rational person? Come on, left
It's not precisely fun to watch the Democratic candidates attack each
other. They are giving Rump ammo for attacking the eventual
candidate, whoever that is. And while the Dems are making the
party weaker, Rump is openly preparing to stay in office even if a Dem
wins in November. Rump may declare a national emergency and avoid
an election at all, and he gives every sign that he will simply call an
election fraudulent if he loses; that if the count of electoral votes
in the House does not favor him, he will declare the result crooked,
and refuse to honor it; and that if the Supreme Court rules against
him, he will declare the decision crooked, and refuse to honor
it. How many battalions do the House or Supreme Court give orders
Our president is insane. This insane person has access to the
world's biggest stockpile of nuclear weapons. Can we focus on
Sanders' health records. He promised to release them in
entirety. Now he says he won't, that he's released as much as any
other candidate. He's gone from being the best of the best, to
matching the worst of the worst. And he's not saying why. He's
acting like Trump. To hell with him. -- The same as
to Bloomberg. One rich guy buying his way into office is more
than enough. Can we have a normal candidate? -- And
can we have a candidate who isn't a paranoid tantrumming brat? 2/19/20
Thank you, Adam Jed, Jonathan Kravis, Michael Marando, and Aaron
Zelinsky, for being examples of what honorable men should do when Trump
acts like a dictator. You have earned an honorable place in
history. Barr, however, is another Bork, who will pass into
obscure infamy. 2/11/20
So. For a while I used Twitter, but now I'm back. I'd
rather write properly for a very small audience, than write badly for a
readership count. I write only for my own satisfaction anyway, so
here I stand, and choose to do no other. The news today is the
resignation of three or more federal prosecutors from either the Roger
Stone case, or from their jobs, because Attorney General Barr is
playing his part of a Rumpsucker more accurately. Decent people
cannot work for Rump, and if you do work for him, it proves you are not
a decent person. Not honorable. Not honest. A leech
on the body politic. A Rumpsucker. The Rump cult must be
removed from power, permanently. 2/11/20
Something I wrote in 2015, when Trump was only a bloat on
the horizon, makes me better understand his mass appeal. I wrote
that "lying around doing as little as possible, with your main mental
activity being gossiping about your neighbors, is a very attractive
life. I call that village living.... Most people can
piggyback on the work of smart people, but their goal is still to lie
around gossiping about their neighbors." I think that's why so
many people put up with Trump's rudeness, stupidity, ignorance,
meanness, selfishness, and general craziness -- not because they like
him, or would accept such behavior by him at a family gathering -- but
because he gives them permission to stop thinking, to fill their time
with gossip and lies, to act like children. He asks very little
of citizens, and he asks for nothing that requires thought. His
cultists are in a permanent state of being blessed. 12/29/19
"I'm a victim, it's a hoax, no due process" squealed
Whinoceros Trump during the House hearings. The House is like a
grand jury, the Senate like a jury. Now the Whinoceros is
conspiring to avoid a Senate trial on the merits. "Keep due
process away from me!" What a faker. What a failure as a
human being. 12/16/19
During the House impeachment hearings, Trump said he
didn't get due process, but actually he did everything to evade due
process. First he said the hearings were unfair because he
couldn't give evidence, then he said he wouldn't give evidence because
the hearings were unfair. That's as close to reasoning as Trump
gets. Now that the impeachment will move to the Senate, Trump
doesn't want The People to get due process, although The People are the
point of America, and are the ones for whom due process was
designed. Trump has been lying that the evidence in the House was
hearsay, but now he wants the Senate to hear no witnesses at all, only
hearsay from lawyers about what happened in the House. Trump is
desperately afraid of a real trial. If he gets this gift from the
Senate, who will protect the Senate itself from Trump's next power
grab? More importantly, who will be be left to protect The
Trump's fake pic of himself as Rocky. There hasn't been
such pretense in 3500 years, since female Pharaoh Hatshepsut put up
statues of herself with a beard. What a coincidence--she too was
pretending to be a man! 11/28/19
Trump's brain is pure mush. On November 16, 2019,
he complained about the Congressional impeachment hearings:
"Nobody’s ever had such horrible due process. There was no due
process.... The Republicans are given no due process
whatsoever." In other words, Trump complained, as he has been
doing, that he's not getting the rights he deserves in a legal
process. Then idiot boy cut off his own feet, and the feet of all
of his minions who have been repeating his "lack of due process"
mantra, by adding "...by the way, it's a political process, it’s not a
legal process." Of course, in a political process, he has no due
process rights -- so all of his earlier whining is self-contradictory
garbage, and everyone who has been whining "no due process" just had
their feet cut off too. There has surely never been a president
so incapable of understanding or defending the situation he is
in. He is a schlemiel, and that's how history will remember
him: President Schlemiel. 11/17/19
Trump confuses power with right. He has power to appoint, but no
right to appoint clowns and criminals to public office. This is
hard for Trumpites to understand. It is easy for everyone
else. A parent has power to hire babysitters, but not to hire
serial killers for the job. Trump has been hiring clowns and
criminals, and combinations of such like Giuliani, and Trumpite
congressmen keep asking witnesses if Trump has the power to do a thing
-- but never if he had the right. Trumpites do tend to have large
gaps in their mental processes, don't they? 11/15/19
M-artha McSally emailed asking my wife for support.
McSally used to be a good military officer but is now a politician,
average at best, though the Arizona Republican establishment likes her
so much that they've appointed her to an office after she's lost two
elections. My wife has previously written her low opinion to
McSally after getting letters wanting money. Somebody in
McSally's office isn't reading her emails from constituents --
pretending to care what constituents tell you is a hack political trick
-- so after getting another letter asking for support, my wife emailed
this to McSally: "Ms. McSally, you ARE desperate if you're
emailing me. I've resisted writing to you for months because I feel so
negative about you and your campaign, and didn't want to be hateful.
But you emailed me, so here goes. I hope Mark Kelly takes John McCain's
seat in the Senate. Yes, McCain's seat because it certainly isn't one
you earned. Politicians in your party GAVE it to you even after voters
told you 'no.' Ever since you were elected to the House a few years
ago, you've been a tRump sellout, an embarrassment to people who value
honesty, compassion, integrity, and the United States of America. Your
voting to divert Fort Huachuca money to build that shameful wall is one
example. I admired your accomplishments in your earlier life, but I
loathe your politics and your self-promotion. You're a loser, Ms.
McSally, to both Mr. Barber and to Ms. Sinema, and I fervently hope
you'll lose to Mr. Kelly. I donate monthly to Mark Kelly's political
campaign, and will continue to do so as long as he's running for
office. If he sets up headquarters in Sierra Vista, I'll volunteer. I
will vote for him and urge others to do the same. His ethics reflect
mine, yours don't. Mark Kelly, and others like him, might save this
The entire opinion by Judge Howell, beautifully applying the law! What a welcome rest from Trump's tantrums:
I've read two authoritative summaries of the law about
criminal proceedings against a president still in office -- the 1973
opinion about Nixon at
and the 2000 opinion about Clinton at
-- and both opinions give deference to the presidency as George
Washington conceived it: the "duties of my Office ... at all
times ... require an unremitting attention" (p. 247 in the 2000
opinion). Both opinions give great thought to the effect of an
ongoing criminal case on a president's ability to do his job.
Trump, however, operates in a way which Washington would not
recognize. He spends much of his time watching pro-Trump
television, using Twitter, and conducting political rallies; and if
ordered to produce his tax records, he would probably increase such
activities. He cannot credibly argue that producing tax documents
would cut into his duties. This changes the factors which the
court in the tax case must weigh. I hope the plaintiffs bring
this to the court's attention eloquently. 10/24/19
Here are the states and cities suing Trump to stop His
Royal Majesty's decree overriding state laws about auto emission
standards: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii,
Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada,
New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania,
Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, Los Angeles, New York
City, and the District Of Columbia. Here's the complaint -- https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/attachments/press_releases/California%20v.%20Chao%20complaint%20(00000002).pdf -- and it will be interesting to see how people discuss the legal issues. 9/20/19
Trump keeps his hair a
different color than his skin, so when a picture of him is taken from
above, you can process the pic to more accurately separate hair from
skin, and as Trump's head gets pinker, the little yellow hairs fade
and reveal the baldness below. Here's a pic showing half of Trump's
real bald spot:
You may also notice how he doesn't put orange makeup around his eyes or in his ears.
-- How much time he must take to create the illusion of having hair! (For the unprocessed pic, see https://sports.yahoo.com/dear-president-trump-please-never-tweet-soccer-021330153.html ). This explains why Trump's daughter Ivanka laughs at his very elaborate fake hairdo; see https://nypost.com/2018/01/03/trumps-bizarre-hairdo-finally-explained/ . 7/16/19
Concentration camps. My God. Hitler did this. We beat
him. When did we invite his ghost to haunt the White House?
How can anyone be neutral? Either your heart must rejoice at the
chance to bully and degrade little children, or your heart must cry at
what is being done in our name. And can anyone be surprised that
Trump did this? He is a personal coward, and his entire public
life consists of bullying the weaker. These children were an easy
target for him. What group that cannot resist will be next? 6/24/19
Donald Trump comes for dinner at Jon Voight's house
JV: Good evening, Mr. President. (Looking out the window) Isn't this a fine afternoon?
DT: You're lying, it's dark and stormy.
JV: (JV looks out window, sees sunshine.) You're right, sir. Will you have an appetizer?
DT: No, your food is garbage.
JV: You're right, sir. Would you like some fast food?
DT: Yes I would. I also like competent hosts, you loser.
JV: You're right, sir. Meanwhile, would you like to mingle?
DT: Yes I would, if they give me compliments.
JV: Mr. Guest, meet your favorite president.
Guest: He's not my favorite president.
DT: Get this traitor out of here, and rough him up a little.
JV: Of course, sir, you're right, sir, your wish is law. (Guest is
hustled out; fast food arrives.) Here's the food you asked for.
DT: I didn't ask for this.
JV: Yes you did.
DT: No I didn't. You're a liar.
JV: You're right, sir, I am a liar.
(DT eats his food like a pig, belches, slobbers, wipes his mouth with his tie, passes gas.)
JV: Umm, smells sweet, sir.
DT: It seems so to me, too. But enough about me, what do you think about me? 5/26/19
Biden is a fool. He is attacking Democrats who understand that you
cannot work with an insane thug. He is doing Trump's work. Say no to
Trump thinks he's tough. There are tougher people. In 1961, John Lewis,
now in Congress, was on a Freedom Ride bus into Montgomery, Alabama.
Everyone knew there would be a riot. at the terminal. John Lewis was
the first off the bus. Does Trump, a baby, really think he can scare
John Lewis, a man? 4/24/19
Trump has moved to telling federal employees to disobey some
laws. Will he next move to telling them that if they are
convicted of a crime, he will pardon them? And in the 2020
election, if he loses, will he say the result is a fake generated by
the crimes of his opponents, and refuse to leave office? 4/24/19
By declaring a national emergency, Trump can create a real one.
The Democratic honchos in Congress seem to be willing to give Trump
something between $1 and $2 billion for his wall, but the offer of less
than he wants is just making Trump throw more and louder tantrums. The
honchos should know by now that Trump isn't basing his demand on
reality, he's just throwing his weight around -- and whatever you give
him, he wants more. The only way to shut him up is to give him
absolutely nothing. No money for the wall. Not a penny. Suck it up,
Ms. Pelosi, or you will be guaranteeing two more years like the hell we
just had. Stifle Trump now. 2/11/19
SOS. Impeach Trump now. Trump wants to withdraw from NATO. He may not know that NATO is the
reason that the USSR lost the old Cold War, and none of us may ever
learn how Putin bullied Trump in their meetings, which Trump is keeping
secret from Americans. It's no secret that Trump is a personal coward,
and when facing really tough people like Putin, Trump is
incapable of protecting America. SOS. Impeach now. 1/15/19
presidential turkey versus the nation of Turkey. On December 19, 2018,
Trump said we had beaten ISIS in Syria, so "our boys, our young women,
our men, they’re all coming back and they’re coming back now;" later he
changed to four months; then to, no specific time; and just three days
ago, he denied his original statement: "No different from my original
statements, we will be leaving at a proper pace while at the same time
continuing to fight ISIS". From "we won, we'll leave
now" to "we'll fight more, leave someday" in three weeks! He's not
fooling anyone -- and a new war may result from his words. Turkey and
other countries in the mideast have many members of an ethnic group
called Kurds, but Kurds don't have a country of their own, and many Kurds are
willing to fight to get one. Syrian Kurds are our allies
in the war there, but Turkey does not want Kurdish fighters anywhere
near, and on January 10 Turkey said that if America DOESN'T leave Syria
as Trump said in December, Turkey will invade Syria to attack the Kurds.
. How did Trump respond? Why, he backed
down, of course, and now immediate withdrawal is on again -- until
somebody else says something even scarier to Trump. The presidency is
not a good job for a cowardly bully. 1/12/19
Nothing to see here, move along. Trump remains a nut job, coward,
gasbag, bully, dummy, traitor, thief, pig in personal habits, serial
adulterer, and all-round fool. In other words: our
president was the same today as every other day. No news.
A president is impeached for "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes
and Misdemeanors." Impeachment isn't for statutory offenses like
speeding or bank robbery. Yet Trump's lickspittles -- those who can
still stand him -- are dancing around details of violations of this or
that ordinary statute. They have been reduced from repeating Trump's
"it didn't happen" to apologizing for the details of how it happened.
Their yapping is a mere irrelevant diversion from why Trump should be
impeached: because his entire policy of public life, including his time
as president, has been to commit treason and pervert America's entire
structure for his personal benefit. 12/17/18
Trump's latest claim of defenses is idiotic. First, we already know how
he plays with words; in Trumpland, saying "I never directed my attorney to break
the law" only means that Trump didn't use those exact words when he spoke to his attorney. Second,
Trump's claim of "advice of counsel" has greatly broadened the scope of
questions that can be asked him, and reduced the defenses available to
him. An "advice of counsel" defense basically waives confidentiality
for the attorney's advice, and ignorance or mistake of the law is not a
good defense against criminal charges. Trump must prove that he was
ignorant or mistaken about what was going on, but his instructions to
proceed with the payoff are very good evidence that he knew exactly what
was going on. Trump is a lawyer's nightmare client: he keeps making
things worse for himself because he insists on saying and doing whatever
he wants to, no matter what advice he receives. At this point, the
best defense Trump has is insanity. And this stupid, unstable,
incompetent loon is steadily tearing America apart, and can instantly
start a nuclear war. 12/13/18
In response to the increasing scare tactics out of our fake president's
chubby cake hole, here's a quote from What's a Woman Doing Here?, by
Dickey Chapelle, a war photographer who was killed in Vietnam. The
quote is from a Marine on Okinawa: "Sure they can kill you. But --
that's -- all -- they can do. Only you can frighten you." The whole
book is free online at https://archive.org/stream/whatsawomandoing013581mbp/whatsawomandoing013581mbp_djvu.txt. It's hard to see how it's out of print. 12/4/18
There are new federal guidelines for employees to avoid political speech or conduct at work -- see https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/500-osc-hatch-act-advisory-novembe/6255daba98ab1a42d079/optimized/full.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0GCuOnKnFG9xBb9B2gyEo_jHgzaMU_-sbg8sP-f9f9bofdlWxoTgoiTQ4#page=1
-- and there's a problem with them. Three numbered paragraphs, with
the first two stating accurately the general principles of what's
prohibited, but with the third giving examples of only one kind of
speech: anti-Trump. If you oppose Trump, your speech is subject to
specific prohibitions; but if you support Trump, all you see is
generalities. It's like a teacher coming into the schoolyard during a
fight and telling Jimmy and John that fighting is wrong -- and adding
"John, you can't do thus and so." Jimmy and John both know that the
teacher is Jimmy's friend and John's enemy. Everyone can see how Hatch
Act enforcement is rigged, too. 11/30/18
Two correctives to Herr Drumpf's whining about the federal
9th Circuit Court of Appeals. First, when Trump claims the 9th
Circuit reversal rate is 80%, he means 80% of cases that reach the Supreme Court
-- not of all cases decided in the Circuit. Roughly, of cases
decided in the Circuit, about 1 in 1000 gets to the Supreme Court, so
only about 1 in 1250 is overturned there. That's not much
different from any other Circuit, and it's not a reason to run in
circles, scream, and shout. Second, Republicans have ensured that
conservatives control the Court. Trump has done his worst to
appoint only true believers (despite obvious corruption), while
President Obama couldn't even get a hearing on a nominee in his last
year. So when Trump complains about the 9th Circuit, he's only arguing that 9th Circuit judges often disagree
with his egomaniacal wishes. That is not an
argument for changing the structure of American government.
Before Herr Drumpf was elected, he bragged that he was so
popular he could get away with committing murder in broad
daylight. Since being elected, he doesn't separate the country's
interests from his own business interests.
Since the midterm election, he's spreading his wings wider. Now
he's willing to ignore the murder of a journalist, paid for by Trump's
Saudi friend, because his friend is good for U.S. business.
Will anyone really be surprised if Trump works himself up to condoning
murder, using presidential power, to further
his personal interests? 11/20/18
As to Herr Drumpf's attempt to keep a reporter (Jim Acosta) he doesn't
like out of the White House press conferences, Trump has lost.
The CNN brief in the was great. Thanks to
David Morgan, journalist of Sierra Vista AZ, for this link:
And after empty threats to
renew the Acosta ban as soon as the judge's first order ran out -- an
order which would certainly have led to a finding of contempt against
the White House -- Trump has backed down and will obey the judge.
Of course, Trump won't acknowledge that when he fought the law, the law
won. He's already preparing future harassment. He wants to
kick out reporters who aren't "respectful" according to rules his
toadies draw up. Of course, Trump is an insecure, stupid madman
who thinks that any challenge to His Divine Incoherence is
disrespectful, so what he's really after is to keep a free press away
from him so that his delusions can't be challenged -- and he thinks
this will work. A free country should answer "Lock him up!" 11/19/18
Things I think about when conservatives demonize liberals
...Conservatives didn't join the American Revolution....Conservatives didn't oppose slavery.
...Conservatives opposed voting for women.
...Conservatives hated President Franklin Roosevelt, without whom the country would have fallen apart.
...Conservatives hated Social Security.
...Conservatives hated American support for England before we got into World War II.
...Conservatives opposed the GI Bill.
...Conservatives supported Joe McCarthy.
...Conservatives opposed civil rights.
...Conservatives cheered when President Kennedy was shot.
...Conservatives opposed Head Start and Medicare.
...Conservatives hate public education. They want "charter schools" and
home schooling, so that Americans will not share the same history.
...Conservatives hate separation of church and state. They want to use
public money to pay for preaching and teaching their religion.
...Conservatives hate free speech for anyone but conservatives.
...Conservatives want us all to focus on hate. They are experts in using prejudice and lies to set Americans against each other.
...Liberals can be proud of who we are. 5/4/18
Trump, the Olmec Baby
Did Mexico already give Trump the treatment he deserves, 3000 years ahead of his time? https://i.pinimg.com/474x/1b/a5/5b/1ba55bcbcfba7ec77a1e10c14b18c16b--ancient-artifacts-metropolitan-museum.jpg?fbclid=IwAR3SSPJMDyKM5rItyDkXwJ8y21Q5OMu0IxcmOJhoL2ELf7jHB3yDpSqA7ts
The missing foot on this Olmec statue may reflect magical advance
knowledge of Trump's magical bone spur. The position of the hand may
indicate that Trump picks his nose and eats it. 11/10/18
Wanted: a proposed Constitutional amendment that in the Senate,
the Vice President have no vote, and that a bill fail upon a
* * * * *
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